New car retail sales at Lookers have reduced by 10%, while fleet volumes increased by 30%, according to an interim management statement from the company.
The Manchester-based group, which operates 119 dealerships, said overall new-car sales were up by 2%, but this was boosted by the surge in fleet sales between July 1 and October 27.
Elsewhere, the group, which sells marques such as Land Rover, Ford, Vauxhall, Nissan and Toyota, said used car sales were slightly higher than last year, while aftersales revenues were flat.
But cashflow is not an issue for the company, which reports that the sale of surplus assets has realised £12.7 million in the nine months to September 30 and it has repaid £21.8 million of bank loans in this period.
Lookers said trade had been "satisfactory" despite the background of difficult trading conditions in the motor retail market.
But it added: "The new and used car markets continue to be affected by uncertain economic conditions and the impact this has on consumer confidence."
Lookers said used-car margins had been hit by weaker consumer demand and were slightly lower than last year.
Meanwhile, Lookers is in discussions with its banks to extend its facilities, which expire in April 2012. The company said it expects results for the financial year to December 31 will be in line with management expectations.